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By Andi Bourne

Rustic Pots- Just for the Fun of It


October 19, 2017

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Dodie Wood shows how different the same glaze looks on one of her bowls versus on one of her plates.

SWAN VALLEY - Potter Dodie Wood's Rustic Pots Studio was new to the tour this year. While she has displayed her pottery at Russ and Larrine Abolt's studio in the past, this was the first year she had the time to open her own studio for tours.

Wood has been doing pottery on and off since the late 1990s as a hobby. Most of her pieces she gives to friends and family although she has sold some of her work at the Mission Mountains Mercantile and Holland Lake Lodge in the past.

Wood came up with the name Rustic Pots because "no two pieces are exactly alike, nor are they by any means perfectly shaped."

Wood joined Alpine Artisans in 2005 when she and her husband John moved to the Swan Valley full time. Her friend and yoga instructor Larrine Abolt encouraged her to be a part of the group.

Some of Wood's pieces are handmade with the help of a slab roller or a mold. Others she throws on a wheel. Her enjoyment comes from creating, not from production.

"I don't want to feel like I have to come in here and make stuff. I just do it for fun," said Wood. She continued, "I get bored and I just do whatever. I don't like too many of the same thing."

She has shifted from carving all of the decorations by hand to using stamps and other impressions that she finds. They all have some tie to nature.

"I'm a girl who has always liked the outdoors. That was the way I was brought up," said Wood.

Wood enjoys seeing a piece of clay turn into something that is functional. While learning and perfecting all the different phases of pottery, she loves seeing her work take shape especially when a piece turns out just the way she intended or better.

Wood has her own kiln and she fires all her own work. She also makes some of her own glazes. She uses different pour and painting techniques to accentuate the stamping or form on each.

"They all turn out different," said Wood "You just never know until you open the kiln what it is going to look like."

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Rustic Pots near Holland Lake offers an assortment of functional pottery. Each piece is unique and most have an outdoors theme.

It takes Wood three to four months to finish one piece. She does slow drying allowing the clay to dry for four-six weeks before she fires it the first time.

"I think it keeps them from cracking and exploding in the kiln," said Wood.

Then she needs enough pieces to fill her large kiln.

Wood said her best teacher has been trial and error. However she has taken classes from other potters and finds a lot of information on the internet.

Pottery is a motivator for Wood and she loves going out to her studio in the winter and seeing what she can create.

"I really enjoy doing it," said Wood. "I have fun."

Wood does not currently sell her work outside of her studio. She encourages anyone interested to get in touch with her and stop by. Rustic Pots Studio can be reached at 406-754-0333 or email


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